How Quickly Can You Set Up A Recruitment Agency?

There are several different elements that need to be considered when setting up a recruitment agency and many enquiries we get into TBOS believe it takes months to get up and running.  Some new business owners get bogged down with irrelevant parts of this process, such as having a new website ready or waiting for business cards and this is often used as a delay tactic to actually start recruiting.  As long as the basic parts of the new business are set up, it means you can start trading in as little as 2-3 weeks.

Below is a checklist of the processes and timescales to consider when setting up a recruitment agency:-


Registering a limited company at Companies House is a relatively quick process which can be done within 12 hours once the information has been collated and uploaded.  When registered, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation showing the company registration number.


At the same time as registering the company, it is ideal to ensure that your chosen domain name is available and it is a good idea to purchase both the and .com versions.  Once purchased, you can then set up the email addresses to work from.


Once the company is formed, the bank account needs to be set up so that you can start receiving those all-important fees.  Don’t take too long having meetings and comparing one bank account with another as at the early stages, there is very little difference between them in terms of services and costs.  Just ensure that the business banking system is user friendly and can make the payments you require and then set up the account as quickly as possible.  Bank accounts can be set up between 3-7 days and the online access can take a further 7-10 days to be completed.


When the company is registered at Companies House, you should automatically be registered for Corporation Tax and receive your UTR number. You need to decide when to register for VAT depending on when you are going to start trading - this can take between 10 days and 10 weeks depending on how quick HMRC decide to review your online application.  Registering for PAYE is required when you start running payroll (either contractor or staff) and can be done online, taking 3-5 days to come through.  You may also need to be CIS registered (contractor and subcontractor) if you are making contractor placements in the construction industry.


Every company dealing with customer data should register their company for a Data Protection Certificate.  This can be done immediately on the website and costs around £35 per year.


Protecting your new business is vital but getting the right policy with the right protection is important.  Speak to a reputable provider who has a specialism in recruitment to provide the best Employers Liability, Public Liability and/or Professional Indemnity policy for your business.  Remember to not over protect yourself immediately and take out the lowest level of protection to start with until your clients demand you need a higher level of cover.  Your advisor should be able to explain which products you need and get you a good price for immediate cover over the phone.


Contracts are the backbone of the placements you will be making so ensuring that they are up to date and provide protection for your new business is key.  Many employment lawyers can provide the standard templates you will require, whether they are for contract or permanent placements, but there will be extra costs if you want something specific added or included.  Sometimes, you can buy a bundle of templates which should reduce the price and we would recommend you do not pay more than £1,500 for the templates you require.


A company logo is important as it should feature on each contract sent, each invoice paid and be the symbol on your website to identify the company.  Getting this done right and professionally can take some time but is worthwhile to get completed.


Once all the essentials are set up, you are ready to start recruiting and growing your business within a few short weeks from formation!

There are a few additional factors to consider such as: finding an accountant/back office provider; arranging invoice finance/funding if you are making contract or temporary placements; creating a website; creating your social media presence, all of which can be done once the essentials have been prepared.

TBOS has over 7 years in experience of setting up new recruitment businesses and has set up nearly 100 agencies during that time.  Using TBOS to set up your new business can save you time and money, allowing you to start recruiting as soon as possible without the worry or stress of doing it yourself.  TBOS provides expert help and advice to new business owners garnered from our wide range of experience in various sectors and industries to ensure that each agency is fully prepared to be a great success.

For more information on how TBOS can help and advise you on how to set up your own agency, please contact our office.

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